Picayune Police Department investigating homicide of man found in backyard

Published 4:04 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

Detectives with the Picayune Police Department are investigating a homicide that is suspected to have occurred Tuesday evening, but the victim’s remains were not found until the next day.

Assistant Chief Jeremy Magri said that the department received a call Wednesday from concerned citizens that their family member had not been heard from in some time and rumors were circulating that he had been shot.

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Detectives spoke with the family, other community members and patrolled the area in search of 28-year-old Justin Nixon of 803 Weems St., as part of the subsequent investigation. Just before 4 p.m. that day, a call came in to dispatch that a body was seen behind a home located at 203 Jarrell St.

Magri said that officers arrived to find Nixon’s body with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper torso.

The area was secured, and an ambulance and a coroner were called to the scene. It was estimated that the man’s remains had been in the backyard for more than 20 hours.

Investigation into the discovery determined that on Tuesday at about 7 p.m. Nixon and his cousin, Malcolm Nixon, 27, of 304 Jarrell St., had engaged in a physical altercation in front of Malcolm’s home but gunshots were not reported to have been involved. After the fight occurred, witnesses state that Justin Nixon fled the area on foot, Magri said

A review of calls to the Picayune Police Department on Tuesday showed that someone reported hearing gunshots in the area of Jarrell Street that evening, but when officers responded to investigate, no one was found in the area and a patrol of the vicinity turned up no evidence, Magri said.

A search warrant was obtained for Malcolm Nixon’s home Wednesday as part of the investigation into the death. In that search, no gun was found but detectives did find a misdemeanor amount of marijuana in Malcolm Nixon’s bedroom, Magri said. Malcolm Nixon was not at the home when the warrant was served.

Later on Wednesday evening, Malcolm Nixon met with detectives at the Criminal Justice Center about his cousin’s death. Magri said that while Malcolm Nixon is a person of interest in the case, he has not been arrested for any offense in relation to Justin Nixon’s death. However, Malcolm Nixon was taken into custody for possession of marijuana and a hold with the Mississippi Department of Corrections after speaking with detectives. As of Thursday afternoon, Malcolm Nixon remains in jail, Magri said.

Justin Nixon’s remains have been sent to the Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson for an autopsy.

Magri said that the investigation into the death is ongoing and asks anyone with information pertaining to this case to call 601-798-7411. Information can be submitted anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 601-799-CLUE(2583).